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10 projects to watch in 2019

Our list of 10 projects to watch this year include football stadiums (again), large commercial schemes and two of the largest infrastructure schemes in the country – all challenging in their different ways and worth keeping a close eye on as 2019 unfolds.

hs2 crossrail

hs2 crossrail

1) Crossrail and HS2

Crossrail should never have made this list given its December 2018 open date, but a nine-month delay (which may now be even longer), plus a potential £2bn overspend make it impossible to leave out.

Pressures on the scheme have also cost Crossrail and HS2 chairman Sir Terry Morgan his chairmanship on both projects, while Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has come in for substantial criticism too.

Meanwhile, HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston has admitted the scheme is facing “cost pressures” as it gears up to start civils work in June 2019.

The work was scheduled to start in November 2018 before being pushed back to March 2019 and then to June.

The project also welcomes a new chairman in Allan Cook, following the resignation of Sir Terry Morgan.

stonehenge lower thames

stonehenge lower thames

2) Stonehenge Tunnel and Lower Thames Crossing

Highways England had its funding model for the £1.6bn A303 Stonehenge Tunnel and the £6bn Lower Thames Crossing pulled from under it by the chancellor in October, when PFI and PF2 were scrapped.

CEO Jim O’Sullivan has since said government has confirmed both projects “will be appropriately and adequately funded”, but there has been no word on what shape this funding will take.

Enabling works on both projects is already under way but this has not come to a halt as this phase of the works is being funded by public money. Mr O’Sullivan has also said the funding model change would “absolutely not” delay either project.

101 george street

101 george street

3) 101 George Street

The London Borough of Croydon will be home to the world’s tallest modular built structures when Tide Construction and Vision Modular complete 101 George Street in 2019.

The 550-apartment residential development will feature a 38-storey and 44-storey structure, which (barring the concrete core) will be built using modular construction.

Global real estate investors Greystar Real Estate and Henderson Park acquired the private rented sector scheme from Tide Construction in January 2018 (image credit: HTA Design).

Liverpool Waters Aerial Day

Liverpool Waters Aerial Day

4) Everton FC stadium

Everton Football Club’s ambitions of building a new 55,000-seater stadium moved a step closer in November, as the club launched the first-stage public consultation for the project.

In November 2017, Everton signed a deal with Peel Ports to lease land at Liverpool’s Bramley Moore Dock area for the project.

Peels hope the stadium will be one of the centrepiece schemes in its £5.5bn Liverpool Waters regeneration plan, which will see new developments stretch along Liverpool’s waterfront.

Given that the stadium project is still at a seminal stage, there have not been any cost estimates or times frames announced yet.

hospitals 2

hospitals 2

5) Midland Metropolitan and Royal Liverpool hospitals

Two major projects that were among several others that were singled out as having contributed to the demise of Carillion, both the Midland Metropolitan and Royal Liverpool hospital projects have had a turbulent year.

Originally funded by a PFI scheme, the £335m Royal Liverpool Hospital project has been taken over by government and will delivered by the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen NHS Trust.

Laing O’Rourke has been confirmed as the new contractor on the project and been given a completion target date of 2020.

Birmingham’s Midland Metropolitan Hospital was also originally funded by a PFI scheme, but government confirmed in August that it would fund completion of the project.

In November, Balfour Beatty won the £10m early works contract to carry out remedial work and weatherproof the structure.

The contractor for the main works is scheduled to be announced in early 2019 and completion of the project is slated for 2022.

Alexander Stadium Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games bid phase image

Alexander Stadium Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games bid phase image

6) 2022 Commonwealth Games, Birmingham 

Birmingham will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, with contractors for two major Games-associated developments already selected.

Mace landed the £70m project manager role for the revamp of the city’s Alexander Stadium, which will act as the centrepiece venue for the Games.

Lendlease secured the £350m contract in November to act as principal contractor for the athletes’ village, which will accommodate around 6,500 athletes and officials.

Following the Games, the site will provide 1,400 new homes.

spire london cropped

spire london cropped

Spire London 3by2

7) Spire London

Chinese state-owned developer Greenland Group’s Spire London development will become the tallest residential building in western Europe when it is completed in 2020.

Standing 771 ft tall, the £800m project will be made up 67-storeys that will house 861 apartments as well penthouses.

Aecom beat Multiplex and Balfour Beatty to the £420m job in 2017, which is based near Canary Wharf in West India Quay in London’s Docklands.

Work stopped on the project in May 2018 after the existing building on the site (Hertsmere House) was demolished and ground works was completed. 

Greenland has cited “significant changes” in London’s residential sector for the pause, adding that it wants to ensure the “development reflects those changes and remains at the forefront of the market”.

CEG South Bank Leeds 1

CEG South Bank Leeds 1

8) Leeds city centre redevelopment

Leeds City Council rubber-stamped CEG’s proposed redevelopment of the city centre in April 2018.

The £350m scheme is spread across a 3.5 ha site in the centre’s South Bank (pictured), and will feature two mixed-use office, retail and leisure developments totalling up to 26,100 sq m.

CEG also requested outline planning permission to build 750 homes on the site, and a further mixed-use development of up to 103,900 sq m for office, retail, leisure, hotel, health, education and community uses.

Foster and Partners The Tulip Cluster Dusk

Foster and Partners The Tulip Cluster Dusk

9) The Tulip

Architect Foster + Partners submitted plans for a 305 m tall tower branded ‘The Tulip’ in November to a mixed public reception.

J Safra Group, which is owned by Brazilian Billionaire Joseph Safra, is behind the scheme. The company also owns the iconic 30 St Mary Axe (the Gherkin), which was also designed by Foster + Partners.

Primarily an office building, designs for the Tulip also feature viewing galleries, sky bridges, internal glass slides and gondola pod rides across the building’s façade.

If the project receives all of its approvals and there are no unforeseen setbacks, construction could start in 2020 and complete in 2025.

U I development Woking Elizabeth House

U I development Woking Elizabeth House

10) Elizabeth House redevelopment

HB Reavis acquired the Elizabeth House development from London & Regional and Chelsfield in May 2017, which sits adjacent to London’s Waterloo station.

The real estate developer intends to demolish the existing 1960s built Elizabeth House, and use the 945,000 sq ft site for mixed use development.

The proposed scheme will feature a 10 and 29 storey tower, that will deliver 753,000 sq ft of office space and 142 homes.

HB Reavis selected architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris for the project in December 2017 and in June 2018, the developer brought in Argent’s head of construction Joe Martin to work on the scheme.

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